Closing Update for Monday, July 27: Scratching It Out

by: Midnight Trader

4:19 PM, Jul 27, 2009 --

  • NYSE up 27 (0.4%) to 6,364.66.
  • DJIA up 15.2 (0.2%) to 9,109.
  • S&P 500 up 2.9 (0.3%) to 982.15.
  • Nasdaq up 1.9 (0.1%) to 1,968.


  • Hang Seng up 1.35%
  • Nikkei up 1.45%
  • FTSE down 0.25%


(+) VARI sold to Agilent (NYSE:A) for $52 per share cash.

(+) CYTR back in Nasdaq compliance.

(+) HNBC bought by First Niagara (NASDAQ:FNFG).


(-) C completes exchange offers, gets favorable Barron's coverage.

(-) ACI selling debt.

(-) CALM results sharply below year-ago quarter.

(-) GLW slips despite earnings beat.

(-) VZ gives up early gain seen after Q2 EPS beat by a penny.


A late-day move lands all major stock averages in the green at today's bell. The DJIA closed up 0.2%, scratching out of negative territory in the final minutes of the session. The S&P 500 closes up 0.3%, at 982.18, its highest level since Nov. 4. The Nasdaq is up 0.1%.

Stocks chopped in mixed trading after a spate of mixed earnings results from Honeywell (NYSE:HON), Verizon (NYSE:VZ) and other companies dimmed some investor optimism.

Although stocks got a brief lift from session lows on better-than-expected new home sales, it was not enough to calm earnings jitters and some consolidation that was widely expected to follow the robust gains seen over the past two weeks. The broad S&P 500 advanced 4% last week alone. The DJIA pushed above 9,000 last week for the first time since January.

June new-home sales rose by the biggest amount since November 2008, climbing by 11% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 384,000, the Commerce Department said. Economists had expected a modest increase in new-home sales to 355,000, annualized.

Among the day's earnings, Verizon (VZ) reports adjusted Q2 EPS $0.63 vs $0.67 a year earlier but just topping the Thomson Reuters mean analyst estimate for $0.62. Operating revenue was up 11.3% to $26.9 billion, in line with the Street view.

Honeywell (HON) reports Q2 EPS of $0.60 vs $0.96 a year earlier though meeting the Thomson Reuters mean analyst estimate. Sales fell to $7.57 billion from $9.67 billion. The Street looked for $7.73 billion. Honeywell expects 2009 earnings of $2.85 a share. The Street is at $2.82.

RadioShack (NYSE:RSH) reports Q2 earnings of $0.39 per share, up from $0.32 per share a year ago. The Street view was $0.29 per share. Sales were $965.7 mln, down from $995 mln a year ago. The analyst mean was $980 mln.

Aetna (NYSE:AET) reports Q2 operating earnings of $0.68 per share, down 28% from the $0.94 reported in the prior-year quarter. The Thomson Reuters mean analyst estimate was for $0.93. Revenue of $8.7 billion is down from $7.8 billion, in line with the Street view. The company is now guiding for full-year EPS of $2.75 to $2.90, a reduction from its earlier view. The Street is at $3.53.

In mergers and acquisitions, Varian (VARI) will be bought by Agilent Technologies (A) for $52 per share in cash, or $1.5 billion. The deal is seen closing before calendar year end.

Harleysville National (HNBC) is being bought by First Niagara (FNFG) in an all-stock deal worth $237 million.

After a volatile session, September crude rose $0.33 to finish at $68.38 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Earlier in the session, the contract had climbed as high as $68.99 and fallen as low as $67.60 in electronic trading.

Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN), Actuate (NASDAQ:ACTU) and Zoran (NASDAQ:ZRAN) are among those slated to report earnings after the close.

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